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09-08-2019 | Automotive Engineering | News | Article

The New Corvette C8 Stingray Goes Mid-Engine

Author:
Patrick Schäfer

Chevrolet has unveiled the new Corvette C8 Stingray. Sixty-six years after its first generation was launched, the iconic American sports car now has mid-engine drive. 

The mid-engine layout also changes the design of the eighth-generation Corvette. The C8 features a forward-stance fighter-jet-inspired canopy. Large side air intakes provide engine cooling and aerodynamics. The V8 mid-engine is visible beneath a 3.2 mm thick glass panel, and has seven adjacent air scoops to dissipate engine heat. A front splitter and the open two-part rear spoiler provide downforce. "As America's most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette Stingray from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years," explains Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design, General Motors.

The mid-engine layout is intended, among other things, to improve the Corvette's weight distribution. It is structured around the central tunnel and promises improved torsion stiffness without the need for wide sills. The main structure of the car consists of six high pressure aluminium cast parts. The front and rear luggage compartments and the dashboard are moulded in fibreglass and resin. "Our mission was to develop a new type of sports car, combining the successful attributes of Corvette with the performance and driving experience of mid-engine supercars," explains Corvette's Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter.

A naturally aspirated engine

The 6.2 l small block LT2 V8 engine sits directly behind the driver and even the entry-level model delivers an output of 369 kW (495 HP) and a peak torque of 637 Nm. The naturally aspirated engine is designed for high torque output at lower rpms and high performance at high speed. With the Z51 performance package, it sprints to 100 km/h in under three seconds. For the first time ever, the basic Corvette has a dry sump oil system with three scavenge pumps. The transaxle is engineered with an integrated electronic limited-slip differential on the rear axle. The electronic 8-speed dual-clutch transmission has no mechanical interfaces between the selector and gearbox. 

The cockpit, which is much further forward than before, is synonymous with high performance and aeronautics. The two-spoke steering wheel is squared top and bottom, and the instrument cluster comes with a 12-inch display. Drivers have a choice of not only the previous Weather, Tour, Sport and Track modes but now also MyMode and Z Mode. Other options include two Bose audio systems, a new touchscreen infotainment system and a Performance Data Recorder. Two luggage compartments offer a combined 257 litres of stowage, and the removable Corvette roof can be housed in the boot. The US versions of the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray go into production in 2019 at GM's Bowling Green Assembly Plant.

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